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Consumer confidence up again in April

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had rebounded in March, increased again in April.

The index now stands at 57.9, up from 52.3 in March. The Present Situation Index increased to 28.6 from 25.2. The Expectations Index improved to 77.4 from 70.4.

"The index is now at its highest reading in about a year-and-a-half [Sept. 2008, 61.4],"  Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said in a statement.

"Consumers' concerns about current business and labor market conditions eased again. And their outlook regarding business conditions and the labor market was also more positive than last month. Looking ahead, continued job growth will be key in sustaining positive momentum," Franco added.

Consumers' appraisal of present-day conditions was more positive in April.

Those claiming conditions are "good" increased to 9.1 percent from 8.5 percent, while those claiming business conditions are "bad" declined to 40.2 percent from 42.1 percent.

Consumers' appraisal of the labor market also improved. Those saying jobs are "plentiful" increased to 4.8 percent from 4 percent, while those saying jobs are "hard to get" decreased to 45 percent from 46.3 percent.

The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve in the next six months increased to 19.8 percent from 18 percent, while those expecting conditions will worsen declined to 12.6 percent from 13.6 percent.

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